The Ballon d’Or has as of late shifted to a (much more suitable) format, now reviewing a season rather than a calendar year, and the Cyler d’Or, in parodic fashion, shall follow suit.
This week we put a full stop on this season’s awards with a final ceremony with a countdown starting from thirty. We have seen the top five leagues individually, but we have not seen them together. It’s time to award the 2023 Cyler d’Or. Not any regional variant, this is not just for Ligue 1, or Serie A, or any other league. Worldwide.
Of the thirty man shortlist, twenty-five will be the twenty-five players who received honours during the course of the 2023 Season Awards, giving us a clean split of five players from each of Europe’s top leagues. The remaining five will be handpicked from the players who missed out on the awards.
Let’s see how they stack up.
10. Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund, England)
It’s rare to say that a €100m signing was ‘worth it’ or even a ‘bargain’, but Bellingham could well be the first nine-figure signing that fully justifies the price, as the English midfielder was beyond world class this season, dragging Borussia Dortmund to a title challenge which would fail in the end.
9. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (Napoli, Georgia)
Kvaratskhelia exploded onto the scene in his first season in a top European league, turning the best defenses inside out every week in Italy and across Europe. The best winger in the world.
8. Min-jae Kim (Napoli, South Korea)
Another player who exploded onto the scene in their first season at a top club after an unreal spell at Fenerbahçe, Kim was the best off the ball defender in the world, positioning himself to perfection time and time again. So excited to see him at Bayern Munich.
7. Antoine Griezmann (Atlético Madrid, France)
Griezmann was the best of the new hybrid AM/Striker players, beating out the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Jamal Musiala, and is the first regional winner of the best player award to feature in this list. The Frenchman pulled Atlético out of the trenches and into the Champions League spots, and was France’s best player in their run to the World Cup final.
6. Matthijs de Ligt (Bayern Munich, The Netherlands)
Kim may have been the best purely off the ball, but De Ligt was the complete package. De Ligt’s last ditch tackles and blocks were unbelievable, it felt like an inevitability that no matter how much attackers work, De Ligt would sweep up in the end. On the ball De Ligt was far superior to everyone else in defense too, including multiple long-range goals and chances created from deep. The best defender in the world.
Tune in tomorrow for the final post: the top five for the season!
What do you think of my picks? Is there any order you would’ve changed? Let us know in the discussion below.